Review: Planet Granite Sunnyvale

Went to the new Planet Granite location location in Sunnyvale last night. It's a really dramatic improvement over both the Belmont and old Santa Clara locations. First, the facility is absolutely beautiful: airy and open. There's probably about twice as much wall space as in Santa Clara and yet they've clearly invested in plenty of holds because the bouldering area seems to have about twice the hold density of the old place, which is really nice for doing drills or working your own problems.

The big improvement, however, is that the walls are a lot higher, with the highest one claimed to be about 60 feet, which really forces you to focus on pacing and technique. They've also moved to a more consistent and detailed numbering system including letter grades above 5.10. The surface on the walls is a lot grittier than at the old location, which is nice from the perspective of being able to use the naturals but can be a little hard on your skin if you're not careful. Actually, the new surface is the only downside I see: they obviously just laid it down and so a couple times it seemed like sand was falling off the walls onto you, which is distracting and obviously would be bad if it got into your eyes. Also, in a few cases we found that the holds weren't screwed down tight enough, which may be a result of the surface being less smooth resulting in less good hold contact. However, these are minor complaints and I'd expect both to go away as it breaks in.

You can see pictures of it for yourself here.